Lebanese officials losing hope of government formation
Before President Aoun was elected in 2016, the country experienced a 29-month long political crisis, one that could repeat itself again
By News Desk - September 07 2022

File photo: Lebanese President Michel Aoun with caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati. (Photo credit: NNA)

Local Lebanese media reported that Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri has decided to end his mediation efforts between President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Najib Mikati to form a government.

Berri indicated in a press statement on 5 September that “the atmosphere that prevailed in the latest meeting between Aoun and Mikati was not encouraging at all,” prompting him to step aside.

However, Berri reiterated his encouragement to form a government as soon as possible, to prevent Lebanon from falling into a constitutional crisis.

High hopes were attached to the meeting between Mikati and Aoun on 24 August, but the negotiations collapsed as neither side was willing to compromise.

As a result, Mikati plans to meet with the head of the Progressive Socialist Party, Walid Jumblatt, to encourage him to play a more active role in bridging distances between the political parties.

Mikati is trying to gather enough support to form a government capable of handling the current political and economic crisis and fill the political vacuum that could overshadow the country.

Although, there seems to be little hope to avoid such an outcome before October.

Currently, the head of the Marada Movement, Suleiman Frangieh, and his counterpart in the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), Gebran Bassil, are the most notable candidates representing the pro-resistance political bloc.

However, the current political deadlock and the lack of a concrete majority in the 2022 parliament could force Frangieh and Bassil out of the presidential race.

If there is no new President by the end of October, the current caretaker government headed by Mikati will assume presidential powers, Anadolu Agency reported.

Before Aoun was elected president in 2016, Lebanon suffered from a 29-month political deadlock for one of the highest offices in the country.

Moreover, Hezbollah placed great emphasis on the need to form a government as soon as possible to tackle the ongoing economic crisis.

Member of the Central Council of Hezbollah, Sheikh Nabil Qaouk affirmed that “Hezbollah is working to encourage efforts to accelerate the formation of this government.”

Qaouk added that “Lebanon has a real opportunity to get out of its crises by electing a new president on time.”

Hezbollah is concerned that as a result of the delays in the maritime border negotiations with Israel, Lebanon might find itself unable to reach an agreement in the upcoming months.

In light of the absence of an active government and the end of Aoun’s presidential term in October, Lebanon will lack the official representation capable of negotiating with Israel.

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